Academic Tenure: On the way out?

WHAT IT IS

WHY IT MATTERS

Changing tenure policies has more to do than just job security for professors or teachers. Once a sacred right for academics, the changes or attempted changes to tenure could also pave the way for changes to the way schools and universities are structured and what they focus on.

  • ANTI-TENURE: “Students first”

  • PRO-TENURE: “Keep or change, it strengthens academics”

    • Academic freedom: Tenure grants protection to professors against “political” consequence for conducting research.
    • No personal vendettas: Tenure grants protection to school teachers against “targeting” from their boss.
    • Competition: If tenure weakens, it will embolden other universities to recruit professors.
    • More than a grade: The system shouldn’t change; basing tenure off of student performance, and not time practiced, neglects to take into account all the variables.

WHERE WE ARE NOW

  • Many Republican led states have begun to gut or try to eliminate tenure within their university systems.
  • Tenure and changes to tenure at the university level have started to be used as “political football” in the name of good governance or academic freedom.
  • Some teachers and professors are voicing a willingness to change to a system with more faculty input.

THINGS TO THINK ABOUT

  • A university system having or not having tenure can play a huge role in a professor choosing which place to teach and research.
  • How do you walk the fine line of not wanting to limit research capabilities while also making sure students are not ignored?
  • Would professors stay even without tenure, or is there consensus within the academic community against getting rid of it?
  • Is there, or should there be, a difference about what tenure is at the primary school level and the secondary school level?